The paper describes experimental investigations of the tip clearance vortex in a linear compressor cascade with a tip clearance to one side and a compressor with a rotor tip section represented by the cascade. The aim is to show experimentally that breakdown of the tip clearance vortex can take place in subsonic compressors. As a first step, the flow in the linear compressor cascade has been investigated at different flow angles from the design point up to the stability limit of the cascade. In a second step the flow in the tip region of the rotor in a low-speed single-stage compressor has been investigated from the design point up to the stall limit of the compressor. The analysis of PIV measurements reveal a low momentum fluid area in the passage both in the cascade and the compressor when approaching the stall limit. This area is separated from the main flow by an interface that is characterized by high standard deviations of the velocities. The location of this interface correlates well with the positions at which the analysis of the unsteady pressure signals obtained with several flush mounted high-response pressure transducers reveals a bump of increased amplitude at a certain nondimensional frequency. The results in the compressor are for the most part identical to those obtained in the cascade. When approaching stall a distinct bump shows up in the casing wall pressure spectra at a nondimensional frequency comparable to the nondimensional frequency found in the cascade. At the same time an area of very low momentum fluid accumulates in the vicinity of the original vortex axis, as can be shown by PIV measurements in the rotor of the compressor. Additionally it can be shown, that the blockage that is due to the broken down tip clearance vortex leads to a rotating phenomenon, comparable to the phenomenon of ‘rotating instabilities’.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.